April 13, 2019 posted by

This paper seeks to understand the outbreaks and the development of grisi siknis , a form of mass spirit possession among the Miskitu of. Miskito villages line the Atlantic coasts of Nicaragua and Honduras. Nietschmann ( 47) estimated the number of Miskito speakers in Nicaragua at in. Grisi siknis (which literally means “crazy sickness”), is characterized by long periods of anxiety, dizziness, fear, and irrational anger. The most.

Author: Zuluramar Kazrami
Country: Seychelles
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Automotive
Published (Last): 3 February 2010
Pages: 236
PDF File Size: 17.42 Mb
ePub File Size: 12.87 Mb
ISBN: 435-1-48759-160-8
Downloads: 72347
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Maurn

Traditional Miskito belief, says Dennis, holds that grisi siknis is the result of evil spirits gfisi black sorcerers. Then moving onto Miskito healers many of the victims were reported to being healed 15 to 30 days later, using the ancient rituals of the native healers.

Nicaragua village in grip of madness

The anthropological field technique of participant-observation was used. In Namahka, the seven affected are all girls aged 14 to Thus western trained doctors were left to only aid and support the healers because of their effectiveness with the illness.

Culture, Illness, and Healing. This has coincided with recent developments in Miskitu society marked by conflicts, contradictions and tense social relations. According to the American Psychiatric Association, a Western medical condition similar in many aspects to culturally bound syndromes, particularly the “running” syndromes, of which grisi siknis is part, is dissociative or psychogenic fugue.

It is estimated that some 25, people live in the Miskito communities on the banks or the Coco river. Three years ago about 80 people were affected in the community of Krin Krin. Community leaders in Raiti claim the outbreak of grisi siknis is the result of a curse. Most of the victims were girls.


Miskito tradition, according to Dennis, holds that grisi siknis is caused by possession by evil spirits. He says the attacks are very serious to those experiencing them and their families, and often to entire Miskito communities.

Grisi siknis – Wikipedia

He witnessed four attacks during his research and said the patients were “clearly in another state of reality”. I thought that this sickness was very interesting to read about because it reminded me of someone basically having a nervous breakdown.

Even though it is not clear why or how the illness exactly comes about, it is clear that it is attacking a certain gdisi and group of people. Most of the victims are young girls from 15 to 18 years old. Folk Illnesses of Psychiatric and Anthropological Interest. The paper argues grixi the phenomenon should no longer be considered a ‘culture-bound condition’ but in fact a Miskitu version of involuntary mass spirit possession.

Grisi siknis is isknis only cured by traditional Miskito healing methods, according to The Journal of the American Botanical Council.

Grisi Siknis in Nicaragua | ANP Introduction to Medical Anthropology (Summer )

July 20, at 4: And because of this, Grisi is considered a disease. The last major outbreak of grisi siknis began in and affected dozens of Miskito communities throughout the region for 20 years.

A different approach to studying this condition could involve different research trials to try and pinpoint the origin of the condition and try to find a solution to fixing the si,nis. According to Prof Dennis, grisi siknis is a “culture-bound syndrome” unique to the Miskito, comparable to anorexia nervosa which is known only in the affluent west.


The outbreak of the malady, known grissi grisi siknis in the local Miskut language, began in the Raiti community near the Honduran border a month ago. Some scholars in the country conclude that it is due to the extreme poverty that the Miskito people sikbis and that was worsened by Hurricane Felix of September Retrieved from ” https: Grisi Siknis is a very prevalent illness for the people of the Miskito tribe.

Archived from the original on 4 June Both articles describe the ineffectiveness of western medicine in healing this illness and how it should be recognized as a true disease because we should realize an illness is not solely based on biological markers but complex intertwining of various aspects of culture with human social conduct.

She said there was no indication sknis a virus was responsible, but many different tests were being carried out. Richard Castillo, as quoted by Dr.

The Miskito people argued that it was due to the action of black sorcerers to oblige the people to pay the expensive cures.